Barons take 2 of 3 on diamond at Shorter

After the Brewton-Parker College baseball team waited two extra days because of rain to play Shorter College in northwest Georgia, the Barons overcame a first-game loss Sunday to win the next two and the Georgia-Alabama-Carolina Conference series.

Brewton-Parker used some late-inning heroics Sunday to take a 7-5 win after Shorter won the first game 5-4, and the Barons won the rubber game Monday 12-3.

"It is huge to go on the road in the conference and take two out of three," said Barons coach Chad Parker, who is watching a freshman-dominated team from last season mature and improve this spring.

"We have a bunch of team players who give us everything every day. Everybody is doing his part. This year they came back and believe in what we are teaching and are doing it the right way."

The Barons had nine extra-base hits in Monday's victory, one that Brewton-Parker finished with a six-run flurry in the ninth inning.

Junior shortstop Jason Halstead and sophomore Johnny King were both 3-for-6 from the plate with Halstead hitting a two-run double to complete the scoring in the ninth inning and a third-inning triple to lead off a three-run, go-ahead rally. King had an RBI double in the ninth inning.

Senior Ricky Nelson was 2-for-5 with a two-run home run, his third of the season, in the third inning and a double to lead off the ninth. Junior Eric Prevatt was 2-for-3 with a two-run double to begin the Barons' scoring in the first inning and had an RBI single in the ninth.

Sophomore Chris Brown went 2-for-5 with an RBI triple in the ninth and a third-inning double. Junior Dax Mezo had two RIB singles in four at-bats, and sophomore Jonathan Davis had his second homer, a solo effort, in the eighth frame.

Sophomore right-hander Andrew Gernatt (1-0) earned the win after relieving sophomore left-hander Craig Trent, who left with a second-inning elbow injury.

Gernatt allowed just two hits and struck out seven in six innings of work, and sophomore right-hander Ashley Hooks took over in the eighth inning with a 5-2 lead and earned his third save with two innings of two-hit, three-strikeout, one-run pitching.

In Sunday's second game, the Barons denied Shorter a doubleheader sweep by scoring six runs in the top of the seventh inning to erase a 5-1 deficit.

Nelson drove home two runs and scored along with Halstead on senior Denson Gleaton's double that tied the game at 5-all. Prevatt then doubled home Gleaton and then scored on Mezo's sacrifice fly.

Gleaton's two-run double completed a 2-for-4 outing, and Nelson's two-RBI single finished a 2-for-3 effort. Sophomore Rex Harrison was 2-for-3 with a double that drove in Brown for Brewton-Parker's first run in the fourth inning.

Junior right-hander Brent Kennedy (3-0) earned the victory with six innings, in which he had a no-hitter through 4-1/3 innings. He allowed three hits and just one unearned run with six strikeouts and two walks. Hooks got the save after pitching a no-hit seventh inning with one strikeout.

In the series opener, Shorter led 3-0 after one inning and 5-1 after two. The Barons scored three runs in the third inning but could get no closer.

Gleaton was 2-for-3 with a two-run double in the third and scored on Prevatt's single. Hooks tripled home Brown for the first run.

Sophomore left-hander Trae Wiggins (1-2) took the loss after allowing seven hits and all five runs (three earned) with nine strikeouts and four walks in 5-2/3 innings.

"The first game looked like we had been in hotel rooms for four days," Parker said. "The kids showed some toughness coming back in the second game and that carried over to the third game."

After playing a home doubleheader Tuesday against Thomas University, the Barons return to GACC action Friday with the first of three games at home against North Georgia College & State University. The Barons and Saints play a single game at 6 p.m. Friday and a doubleheader Saturday beginning at 1 p.m.

Brewton-Parker's spring break schedule includes a 4 p.m. doubleheader at home Monday against King College of Bristol, Tenn., and a 2 p.m. game Tuesday at Albany State University in a make-up date from Feb. 6.